Brunch 101: The Perfect Menu

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Brunch is by far my favourite meal! There’s nothing better than combining breakfast and lunch foods, and if the occasion warrants, a nice chilled glass of champagne to go along with it.

My hubby and I just moved to a new place, and for our housewarming party we decided to do a brunch. I stuck to finger foods for the menu, and had a large assortment of cheese, fruit, olives, bread and dips to compliment everything else.

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The 4 recipes that were the biggest hits are also some of my favourite things to eat, and they are so easy make! Keep scrolling for the delicious recipes for Brie & Blackberry Tarts, Devilled Eggs, Caramelized Onion Tarts (my personal favourite) and Smoked Salmon & Herbed Cream Cheese Bites!

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Brie & Blackberry Tarts

Ingredients:

  • I sheet thawed pastry dough
  • 1/4 cup blackberry jam
  • 1/4 cup cherry jam
  • 1/2  cup Brie cheese
  • Fresh blackberries
  • Sea salt

Method:

  • Thaw pastry for at least half an hour
  • Pre heat oven to 200 degrees C
  • Lay out thawed pastry dough on parchment paper, and use pizza cutter to slice dough into approximately 1 and a half inch squares
  • Grease mini muffin tin, and place each cut pastry square in individual muffin cup so that the top corners are slightly outside
  • Mix blackberry and cherry jams together and spoon about a heaped teaspoon into each muffin cup
  • Sprinkle with sea salt
  • Trim the skin off the Brie and add about a teaspoon on top of the jams – you can adjust this depending on how cheesy you want the tart to be
  • Bake for 15 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown
  • Once out of the oven, place a fresh blackberry on top of each tart
  • Serve immediately or when they are cool, they are delicious either way

 

Devilled Eggs

Ingredients:

  • 20 hard boiled eggs
  • 6 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons champagne vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons hot mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon very finely diced shallots
  • Paprika – for garnish

Method:

  • Slice hard boiled eggs lengthwise and remove  yolks into a bowl
  • Set whites aside
  • Combine the yolks with the mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, hot sauce, salt, pepper and shallots and mix well
  • Spoon mixture into a piping bag and carefully pipe into each of the hollow egg white halves
  • Sprinkle with paprika
  • Refrigerate until you serve

 

Caramelized Onion Tarts

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 kg red onions – finely sliced
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 1 tablespoon red wine or red wine vinegar
  • 1 stick butter
  • Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 sheet thawed puff pastry

Method:

  • Melt butter in heavy bottomed pan
  • Add garlic and stir
  • Once garlic is fragrant (2-3 mins), add onions
  • Stir until all onions are coated with butter and keep stirring periodically for about half an hour or until you really see the onions breaking down and going from translucent to brown and jammy
  • Add chilli flakes and dried thyme
  • Cook while stirring for another half hour (you can shorten this time but I really think you need at least a full hour to properly coax all those gorgeous sugars out from the onions – the depth of flavour increases and I really think this is worth the time)
  • Once onions achieve a jam-like consistency, pour one tablespoon red wine or red wine vinegar to deglaze the pan (I use red wine because I feel it gives the onions a more full-bodied flavour)
  • Pre heat oven to 180 degrees C
  • Cook for another 10 mins while stirring (yes, I know there is a lot of stirring involved, but it is so worth it)
  • Remove onions from heat and let cool for about 15-20 minutes
  • In the mean time, cut circles out of the puff pastry dough using a cooke cutter, and place each circle on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
  • Spoon around one tablespoon of the caramelized onions onto the centre of each pastry round
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the pastry has risen and is golden brown
  • Serve either warm or cold

 

Smoked Salmon & Herbed Cream Cheese Bites

Ingredients:

  • Smoked salmon
  • 1 baguette – cut into 1/4 inch thick rounds
  • 1 and a half cups of softened cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives
  • 1/8 cup chopped parsley leaves
  • 2 roughly cut garlic cloves
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 red onion
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • Capers

Method:

  • Pre heat oven to 180 degrees C
  • Toast baguette rounds to desired levels of crispiness
  • In a food processor, pulse the cream cheese, garlic, chives, parsley, salt and pepper together
  • Finely slice the red onion
  • In a separate bowl, add vinegar and red onions together, and let onions soak for about 5 mins
  • Spread cream cheese mixture on each baguette round
  • Place 3-4 thin slices of red onion on each
  • Fold desired amount of smoked salmon over cream cheese and onions
  • Top with a caper

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